WINDSOR — Nashville-based musician David Nail, Prius-sized pumpkins, weight-pulling horses, oxen, tractors and trucks, improved parking, carnival rides and games, daily harness racing and a life-sized talking fiberglass cow that imparts wisdom about milk while encouraging youths to try their hands at milking, all await as the Windsor Fair kicks off its 125th year Sunday.

Tom Foster, fair president, expects more than 100,000 people will pass through the fairgrounds during the fair, which runs through Labor Day.

While there are plenty of spinning midway rides and deep-fried foods to be had, fair organizers and many of the 250 to 300 people who play a role in putting the fair on maintain their focus on the fair’s agricultural roots.

“We’re always trying to do things to help educate the public. We are an agricultural fair,” Foster said Wednesday. “We’re known as a clean, attractive, fun place to go for the family. Kids get in free, and we don’t charge to park your car. We feel we’ve made our fair very affordable and very agricultural. There’s a lot more to it than the midway. Come and have fun and learn something at the same time.”

A new educational addition awaiting visitors this year is a fiberglass cow that talks about milk and allows youths — or anyone else who cares to do so — to try milking it.

“The good thing is it doesn’t kick,” Foster said.

Foster said work started on preparations for this year’s fair as soon as last year’s ended.

Improvements to the grounds include expanded and improved parking and updated wiring for the many recreational vehicle users, some of whom camp there for the entire fair.

There’s some form of entertainment at the fair every day, Foster said. Saturday night headliner David Nail, who opened for Keith Urban in Bangor last year, hails from Missouri, worked in the Nashville music scene and has three albums out.

Maine comedian Bob Marley will return to the fair stage Sept. 1.

Nail and Marley’s shows require payment of $5 for admission, in addition to the fair’s admission fees.
Other acts charge no additional admission. They include country and bluegrass musicians Amy Gallatin and Stillwaters, on Aug. 30, and several Maine-based musicians.

Admission to the fair costs $7 from the first Sunday through Thursday, and both Mondays; and $9 for Friday, Saturday and the second Sunday. Children younger than 16 get in free. Senior citizens get in for $3 on Woodsmen’s Day, which is Monday; and Senior Citizens’ Day, Aug. 29.

A fair program and more information is available online at www.windsorfair.com.

Foster said he has been assured by contractors working on the Maine Natural Gas pipeline, some of whom have been based at a parking lot adjacent to the fairgrounds, that they will not be working on the pipeline on Route 32 near the fairgrounds during the fair.

Fair events include animal and truck- and tractor-pulling competitions, a demolition derby, floral design demonstrations, animal shows, historical demonstrations, beano, lumberjack competitions, food exhibitions, pig scrambles, sheep dog demonstrations, a giant pumpkin and squash contest, and extensive harness racing.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647
kedwards@centralmaine.com